Fun day today. Saw a Marvelite named Rocky insist that Marvel will always outsell DC, which led DC-boy Jeff to jump in with the proclamation that DC will definitely have the highest selling book the month 52 #11 comes out (the infamous Batwoman appearance issue). My response was: does that mean DC outsold Marvel? I looked up the March and April figures (courtesy of IcV2's Top 300 list), and DC had the top book each month (Infinite Crisis #5 and #6, respectively), but Marvel had 6 of the top ten and 14 of the top 20 both months. So who won? More importantly, does it matter? Probably not, I just thought I'd mention it.
Let's see. I looked through JSA #86. Stargirl still hasn't figured out why Power Girl and Ma Hunkle can clock Gentleman Ghost, but she can't. Psst, Courtney, here's a hint. More interesting was Jeff explaining why DC feels they need to end JSA and start over with Justice Society of America. It made sense, especially in light of the final issues of JLA. I picked up Wonder Woman, saw who was calling herself that, and set it down again. I can't recall much of 52; oh yeah, Alan Scott angsted a lot and. . . zzzzzzzz. Huh, wha? Sorry, he must have put me to sleep again. At least I found out a character I like isn't dead. . . yet. Oh yeah, the Outsiders are just making friends all over, aren't they? I also looked through Civil War: Front Line #1, but the important thing I saw in there requires it's own post.
I also picked up three old comics: Amazing Spider-Man #342, when Peter willingly gave up his powers, out of concern for Aunt May, but he still can't stop himself from fighting the Scorpion to save Jonah Jameson. To paraphrase Count Rugen from Princess Bride: "You're not still trying to be superheroic, are you? You've got an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. One of these days, it's going to get you into trouble." Also Web of Spider-Man #61, the only chapter of the "Cosmic Spidey Saga" I didn't own, though on reflection they made him too concerned with the public's opinon of him. Oh yeah, and X-Men/Teen Titans! Boo ya! For $1, because some of the pages are loose! Like I care, I own comics where some dumb kid cut the characters out of them for unknown reasons. What, it was a long time ago, I forgot why I did it, alright?
Whew. Anyway, I did actually buy four books, though only three came out this week. Let's begin, spoiler warnings, as is normal for the blog.
Superman/Batman #26 - I know it came out last week, but I got a copy today, so here it is. I don't know whether it's right or not to discuss this like I would any other comic, given the circumstances surrounding it, but I think that's how I operate best, so let's try.
I liked this comic. From a strict standpoint of enjoyment, I had fun reading it. It was crazy and kind of silly, and the reason behind the whole conflict our erstwhile heroes face is kind of insane, but it works. I can understand why the "villain" of the piece would do what he did, and how important it was that Tim and Conner made him the offer they did. I like that Conner was kind of a doofus, and that Tim seemed to clearly be trying to act like the wise, crafty veteran, but still couldn't help being a little thrown by the craziness they were up against. The frequent artistic shifts, which would have been irritating in most other books, fit rather nicely with the story, given the constant change of settings. The costume for the Wonder Woman robot seemed pretty much what you would expect given the creators'. . . tastes. It was just a fun story, so 5 out of 5.
As for Sam's Story, all I'll say is reading it reminded me of something a friend said once. My friend Steve had loaned me his copy of Samurai X: Reflection. When he handed it to me, he mentioned that he'd watched it the weekend previously, and when it was over he 'felt like just curling in a ball on the floor for awhile.' Reading Sam's Story left me in that kind of place; not really wanting to do much of anything, just sit there and try to absorb it.
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 - OK, I've horribly depressed you all, I apologize for that. And I'm reviewing a book I gave up on previously. So I came back to it, a man can't give a book a second chance? Firelord, Red Shift(?), and Stardust (Galactus' most recent herald, seen in the Beta Ray Bill mini-series Stormbreaker) team-up to fight of the Annihilation Wave's forces, which are there to catch them. Meanwhile, Thanos is watching as Annihilus tries to harvest cosmic power from Morg and Terrax. But where's the title character?
Galactus has requested his presence, so the Surfer bailed on the other Heralds to go talk to big G. Len seemed kind of unhappy about this; I was just confused because I thought Galactus had become human. Or died. Or become human and then died. I wasn't sure. At any rate, he's here, and he has things to talk about. Apparently the Kyln, which was destroyed in the Annihilation: Prologue, housed all kinds of stuff, including the Beyonder essence, which we see in this issue is female. . . and dead. But also the only other two survivors from some cosmic war that occurred long ago (Galactus being the other): Tenebrous and Aegis. Galactus knows he's going to have to fight and he wants the Surfer's help. But, the Seekers have tracked the Surfer to Galactus, because Annihilus wants to dissect him too. Good luck with that. . . morons. This leads to the greatest description of the Silver Surfer ever, by the Seeker known as Ravenous. Are you ready for this?
He calls the Surfer a 'sadly inadequate poltroon.' Holy crap. A comic book character said "poltroon", you have no idea how much I'm loving this. It is freaking awesome. No matter how pathetic this schmoe's death will wind up being, he will not have died in vain. And he will die, because apparently Galactus took some of the Surfer's power when he stranded him on Earth years ago, and he's giving it back. And in two pages, he destroys 5 of Annihilus' starships, where it took 3 heralds to destroy one earlier. I heard that Kirby's original Surfer was like a god, someone who could go up against Thor or even someone like Parallax (theoretically) and win. I think that boy is back on the block. Hot damn, all you poltroons better run for your life. 4.8 out of 5.
The Punisher #34 - Frank Castle versus a Great White Shark. Hmm, it's good thing there's another person in the water. And he's a drug dealer too? Oh, happy day, Frank Castle just loves drug dealers! This is mostly talk, which is OK, last issue was pretty much all fighting, and I'm sure the next two probably will be as well. The little snot Frank saved in #31, who sold him out in #33, is begging for forgiveness from the boss he was going to betray in the first place. The bosses' whipped pup of a right-hand man doesn't like it, but no one cares. We found out how the boss came to know the Barracuda, and we find out the boss has other jobs for the Barracuda, what with the Punisher being taken care of and all. Whoops. And what would a Garth Ennis book be without some graphic description of violence? Well, this issues has one involving testicles and eyelids (don't worry it's off-panel), 'nuff said. I'd say this is setting up nicely. 4 out of 5.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #9 - Well, we found out why the *shudder* Hobgoblin of 2211 is here. She has a grudge with her father, the Spider-Man of 2211, who had her arrested for a major time-altering event she was going to commit in the future. Oh man, not Minority Report! I'm quite surprised to find out the Spider-Man meets Spider-Man of 2099 is in continuity, as Peter remembers this Hobgoblin.
We find out that the Hobgoblin had predicted some problem for their universe, where it wasn't just intersecting with parallel realities, it was on the verge of being overwhelmed by one of the "larger" universes. Yeah sure, and if you could step outside of the universes, you could probably see two giant golden hands slowly smushing the universes together. I will now dump a rabid raccoon down my pants. Ouch.
Anyway, "Hobby", which is apparently one of her father's condescending nicknames for her, was going to travel back in time, and prevent this, to save her universe. Joy. Could you wipe out the last two years of Marvel while you're at it? And Joe Quesada? We find out that Peter really shouldn't wear a suit built out of nanites, as someone from two centuries in the future can easily turn it against you. And I still have no idea what attacking Peter Parker has to do with anything, unless she's given up on saving her universe, and just wants to mess with her dad.
On the plus side, it made my Grand Unified Marvel Theory seem less crazy. There is something wrong! So for that, 2.3 out of 5. Don't even ask me about the "retcon bomb" or how removing Ben Parker from that reality makes Peter turn into a giant Man-Spider 20 years afterwards.